Orangutan At San Diego Zoo Makes Medical History By Getting Covid Jab

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Orangutan At San Diego Zoo Makes Medical History By Getting Covid Jab
Orangutan At San Diego Zoo Makes Medical History By Getting Covid Jab. image: twitter

ORANGUTAN At San Diego Zoo Makes Medical History By Getting A Covid Jab

An orangutan called Karen, in San Diego Zoo, made medical history in 1994 when she had open-heart surgery – the first orangutan in the world to undergo the procedure.

Now, she has become the first orangutan in the world to get a Covid-19 vaccine, along with three others, and five bonobos at the zoo, after eight gorillas who had been coughing, believed to have been infected by an asymptomatic zookeeper, tested positive for the virus, the world’s first cases among captive primates.

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Nadine Lamberski, San Diego Zoo’s chief conservation and wildlife health officer told National Geographic that the apes had shown no adverse reactions after they had been administered the veterinary pharmaceutical firm Zoetis’s experimental animal vaccine last month.

Karen and the other apes received two doses each of the vaccine, which had previously only been tested on cats and dogs, and Ms Lamberski said, “We commonly use vaccines designed for dogs and cats, for lions and tigers”.

Continuing, “It’s not like we randomly grab a vaccine and give it to a novel species. A lot of thought and research goes into it: what’s the risk of doing it and what’s the risk of not doing it? Our motto is, above all, to do no harm”.


She added, “This isn’t the norm. In my career, I haven’t had access to an experimental vaccine this early in the process, and haven’t had such an overwhelming desire to want to use one”.

Now, officials at the Zoo will wait on the results carried out on blood taken from Karen and one of the bonobos, to establish if the vaccine is working.

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Chris King
Chris was born in a small village in Wales, where he ran his own successful construction company for many years, before deciding in 1990, to swap the grey skies and rain for the sunshine and lifestyle of the Costa del Sol. Late last year he made the move to Southern Portugal, and is now residing on the Algarve. Having sang and played in a rock band back in Wales, he still likes to go out and entertain in his spare time, singing in restaurants and golf clubs. Interests are of course music, especially from the 60s and 70s, movies, nice restaurants, and has a passion for graphic design and online marketing.

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